Benzotriazole (BTA) is an emerging contaminant that also is a recalcitrant compound. Sequential and intimate coupling of UV-photolysis with biodegradation were investigated for their impacts on BTA removal and mineralization in aerobic batch experiments. Special attention was given to the role of its main photolytic products, which were aminophenol (AP), formic acid (FA), maleic acid (MA), and phenazine (PHZ). Experiments with sequential coupling showed that BTA biodegradation was accelerated by photolytic pretreatment up to 9 min, but BTA biodegradation was slowed with longer photolysis. FA and MA accelerated BTA biodegradation by being labile electron-donor substrates, but AP and PHZ slowed the rate because of inhibition due to their competition for intracellular electron donor. Because more AP and PHZ accumulated with increasing photolysis time, their inhibitory effects began to dominate with longer photolysis time. Intimately coupling photolysis with biodegradation relieved the inhibition effect, because AP and PHZ were quickly biodegraded and did not accumulate, which accentuated the beneficial effect of FA and MA.Figure not available: see fulltext.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalFrontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Benzotriazole
  • Biodegradation
  • Electron donor
  • Inhibition
  • Photolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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